“Madame Editeur: (That’s what the French froggies call a publisher. An editor is a redacteur (redactor, a la the CiA?). Anyhoo, the break room is out of coffee, i.e. there’s enough for one more carafe to be made today, and then, thirst, thirst thirst. Merci beaucoup.”
Jerry Buxton, area reporter and long-time Tribune employee died of cancer this past weekend. Jerry had been ill through the fall and was diagnosed with cancer around Christmas.
“’Begone!,’ said a Shakespearean character, and behold: the coffee was, or will be, by Friday, me predicteth. Thankee kindly.”
One could not know Jerry and not realize his deep intellect and amazing sense of humor. Although an English major in college, Jerry could speak almost fluent French and was not afraid to do so. He was always quickly able to help resolve any language conundrum or problem I had. He was a fountain of information and was always willing to share his knowledge.
“We are just about at Ground(s) Zero in the coffee situation. Very dire straits (Money fer nothin’, etc.). If it’s Arabica bean coffee, I hope that doesn’t mean Al Qaida sent it, some of them being Arabs, no doubt. At least Ahab is, I’m sure. Ray Stevens told me so.”
Speaking of conundrums, Jerry was the king of puns. This was a great topic of conversation for us as my son Josh is also a lover of puns. He had recommend to me the book “A Beginning, a Muddle and an End” by Tricia Tusa for Josh. It’s a great children’s book about a snail named Avon who wants to write about his adventures and his best friend Edward the ant. I guess it was quite apropos for a journalist to recommend a humorous book about writing.
“I don’t know if ‘papa will be gone before the snow flies,’ as in the hillbilly classic by Jerry Lee Lewis and his sister, Linda Gail Lewis, but the coffee looks like it will be gone by sometime Wednesday!! Merci beaucoup.”
Obviously Jerry had a great love for coffee. He always made certain we didn’t run out in the break room or that we wouldn’t run out on a weekend he was working. He told me coffee for him was like gasoline in a car. It helped his creative juices flow and kept his engine revved.
“My grandfather, born in 1871 (he’d be seven score, 140, next Jan. 30, a day after Kansas Day, just 10 years younger than KS.) , one time, told my mom and her sister, my aunt, that he was a coffee hag. They got a kick out of that. Anyhoo, we coffee hags, or hogs, here at the GBT are about out of that golden elixir. Enough for half a pot remains, and that’s all. ‘Zounds. Please remedy this dire situation.”
Jerry had a great passion for his work and for his community. He always put in his best effort when covering a story especially in his beloved Larned. As his health was beginning to fail, he struggled to take the time to take care of himself. He felt there was always one more thing to do, one move event to cover, one more story to write.
It was a hard battle, but even through the pain, Jerry kept his sense of humor. When he reached the point where he could barely speak coherently, he would still acknowledge you with your name if he could and a smile. Of course then he would laugh at some joke you caused him to recall and you knew how much he appreciate your presence, just as you appreciate his.
Jerry you will be missed.
Je vous remercie Jerry, Dieu vous bénisse. J'espère que votre quantité de café ne finit jamais.